How you can write your Heavenly Father

It’s Father’s Day 2020. My earthly dad went on to glory Christmas Eve of 2014. It is one of the best memories of my life. Because he was a follower of Jesus, death had no sting. Those of us present at his passing were able to sing sacred Christmas carols to him. We had the strength that assurance brings when one knows a loved one has eternal life with Jesus.

Remembering my dad is pleasant, but my relationship with my heavenly Father is a daily and eternal joy. And that’s the way my dad would like it. So sometimes on Father’s Day, I write a letter to my heavenly Father, the One who saved my soul. Have you ever done this? If you know God through Jesus His Son, then you know what a close relationship you can have with Him. If you have time today for some solitude, consider writing a letter to Him. Here are some ways to get started.

  • Read some chapters in Psalms with worship as their theme and spend time thanking and praising the Lord for who He is and what a good heavenly Father He is to you.
  • Find some songs from your playlists or search for some on Youtube about our Father. Selah has a song entitled, “How deep the Father’s love for us.” Amy Grant, “My Father’s Eyes,” and Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father” are just a few.
  • Find a notebook and start writing. Thank Him for all you’ve been reminded of about Him in the Psalms and your songs.
  • Make it personal. Thank Him for everyday rescues, interventions, and solutions He brought to your mind. Thank Him for His faithfulness and His daily provision.
  • Lastly, thank Him for saving your soul. Thank Him for the cross. Thank Him for the promise of His presence through life. Thank Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His care. Thank Him for your heavenly home being made for you. 

My dad knew the One who’d saved his soul. The song, “Because He lives” was a favorite of his. My dad was sure of his destination, and this assurance gave him hope on this earth.

No matter who your earthly Father was or is, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have a relationship with an all-knowing, loving, and gracious heavenly Father. He will love to receive your letter.

Happy Father’s Day.

 

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. C.S. Lewis

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Why not follow Jesus?

F7B13CBE-8667-400E-9247-88495BFCA2B1 In our church, songs with the themes of heaven and of grace are often sung. As we all join together heralding this good news, the idea of this blessed condition makes me weep at times. While singing, I ponder how freeing it is to live a life indelibly marked by the grace of Jesus. None of us deserve this grace. Gratitude often springs from my heart because I know without the Lord, my life would be so dark and different than it is. I am thankful for His grace in my life.

If you are a follower of Jesus, surely you know and experience the grace of God daily!

He cares so deeply for His children, and His love is boundless and inexhaustible, and unfathomable.

If you don’t yet follow Jesus, you may wonder how to make sense of this world. Surely, observing the events of our day would shake one’s soul and cause questions to swirl. I’m wondering if you are in that state now; would you be looking for peace?

The One who lives inside me is the only One who’s been able to give my life
peace, purpose, and a plan. He is my stability, my Rock, and my joy. He can be all this to you too.

This all-encompassing God also has a place reserved for me in heaven. I know this for certain, and it’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s actually because of everything He did for me when He died on the cross. Then, when I chose to receive His gift of salvation, certainty and assurance became my eternal hope.

I don’t deserve this one bit.photo-1434077471918-4ea96e6e45d5

It certainly isn’t because I’m a good person or because of any good works I’ve done. I am not a good person, nor do I have to do good works to earn this salvation. Any good coming from me is only because of Jesus and His precious Spirit living in me. But, I must cooperate with the work He desires to do. The good works are done out of love for Him.

My faith is in the person of Jesus, not a religion. This keeps me from becoming callous to the world and its troubles. My heart is more tender to this world, and prayer is my response. I don’t lose hope. I know there are spiritual forces at work in this world.

Indeed, I’ve decided to follow Jesus, which means my life is directed to being part of the solution to the sin problem in this world. My hope and peace are not found in this world. My victory is in the person of Jesus. I know the sovereign God of this universe lives in me, and I have peace living in this chaotic world. Do you have peace? Are you a follower of Jesus?

Consider these verses:
John 3:16&17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

John 14:6– Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 3:23 -for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23– For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Matthew 6:24 img_1539– Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

If you believe what you’ve just read, then you can begin this relationship with Jesus.  Place your life in His hands, and you will have one Master. The world’s darkness will be quieter. You can begin to be obedient to His commands and walk in His ways daily. Peace comes. Joy is overflowing. Because we aren’t meant to live our lives in isolation, finding a Bible-teaching church is one of the most important aspects of following Jesus. Start reading your Bible. Start in the book of John. You can find several resources on this blog about reading the Bible and learning to walk in His ways. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

If I am to wholly follow the Lord Jesus Christ, I must forsake everything that is contrary to Him. A.W.Tozer

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Delight or Distraction

33038881_844971702380635_1723938488941805568_nHave you ever had a moment when God surprised you by answering a desire in your heart that was there a while? Usually, that’s the way desires work; they come, they linger, and sometimes many years pass before any action happens regarding them. Desires by their nature are things we often wait for.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

This verse seems trite because sometimes we believe we’ve delighted in the Lord a long time, and a desire is still unmet? Why is that? One thing I’ve come to understand is the delight part of Psalm 37:4 really is a command. That means in obedience, we choose to delight in Jesus whether we ever see the desire or not. The Lord knows His children, and He knows when we delight in Him, we don’t obsess on the desire.

If we only look for things that haven’t happened yet or something we don’t have yet, this becomes idolatry. The first commandment reminds us that God has nothing before Him. So, when we look to God and Him alone, somehow, He becomes our desire, and our desires become what He would desire for us.

We fall in love with Jesus.

We trust Him.

We trust His timing… instead of having a “what have you done for me lately” attitude.

The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 16:9 that God is looking to strengthen the hearts of those who are devoted to Him.

Amy Grant wrote a song, and the lyrics went like this:

The Lord has a will, and I have a need to follow that will, to humbly be still, to rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it, following my Father’s will.

This delighting comes down to submission to His care, giving Him control in our lives, following His plan…learning to love the GIVER instead of the gifts.

Indeed, throughout our lives, God does answer many of our desires. He loves us, and giving is in His nature to do.

One fantastic thing I’ve seen God do in my life is answer desires I didn’t even know I had!

When this happens, it reminds me that my distractions don’t come close to what God really wants for me. My heart rejoices in this truth, and I’m reminded how good God is, how He really does hear His children; He really cares. Being a child of God through His Son, Jesus is truly delightful.

Sometimes, God will step in and give us aid from our distractions. Other times, He just can’t. Distractions cause us to miss the very thing God wants to provide us. Surely the Lord knows how we are made, and He protects us from ourselves many times. But I believe, His desire would be that we would look to Him for our desires, and in doing so, we remain in His protection. There are consequences to choosing to wander from His protection. God has given His children the plan. Like any child is expected to obey their parents, His children are required the same.

My own wandering requires me to refocus, do a soul check, and decide once again, God is my delight, and He is my heart’s desire. Spiritual tenacity is required. The enemy of our soul has his agenda. This quote from Amy Carmichael sums up his intent…

“Satan is so much more in earnest than we are–he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.”

The enemy is laser-focused. He wants us distracted, humming along, thinking we are following Jesus. The reality often is, we have missed opportunities that had our desires in them. We want to run to lesser things. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit, who makes me aware of the distractions. If I want all of Jesus I can have, I will have to delight in Him once again.

When are you going to get sick of your desires? When will you see all the distractions keeping you from God’s desires for you? The enemy is busy stealing, killing, and destroying. How much of your life have you let him steal already? When your plans become about God’s plans and desires, you live in His delight, and then you are living.

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The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

June Jewels Bible Study

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June Jewels 2020

Do you need an uncomplicated Bible study to inspire you to serve others and learn to love yourself? This study is for you. I wrote it to find a way to bond two people who will serve the Lord in the same place every day. It was made clear to me that a simple but challenging Bible study would be the way to get them to meet together often in June. These two work at a place where I serve called Buried Treasures Home. June will be the month for them both to work this study together. Hopefully, one heart and one mind will be the result of finishing this study. The Lord informed me of the topics I needed to include. I made it interactive for them to execute together.

This study was made for one purpose only, these ladies, so I thought.

One evening, as I showed this finished work to my husband, he encouraged me to put it out on this blog to benefit others. To do this, I had to revisit the study and change some of the content. The activities on their version are specific to our setting. I prayed further and asked the Lord to help me make one for this blog.

You will notice in some of the instructions I specify how to do an activity individually or with another lady. But I believe it can also include a small group or Sunday School class. This season, when few churches are gathering, it would be an easy study to do with your Sunday School class over zoom. The study is not a daily study, but there’s enough work to spread throughout June.

Does this sound like something you could use? It’s easy to choose which way you want to do the study. You will be challenged but not overwhelmed. There will be things to ponder, but growth is sure to happen. Make copies. I use only black ink. Please note that   each lesson is just a 1/2 sheet, except one. Don’t miss a chance to do a short, concise, biblically driven study. It’s the only Bible study I’ve written, and I tried to make it easy, but with some depth. If you have questions, please ask. This was a surprise from God’s heart to mine. I pray this study brings Him much glory and some growth to you.

Let me know how you like it. Please share how you plan to use it.

Click here –  June Jewels 2020b643d909-06d5-44c9-95e7-01bc16b096d5

Click here for the studyJune Jewels 2020

A Memory on Memorial Day

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My dad. Mild-mannered, unassuming, a cheerful soul, burdened at times by things he couldn’t control, although with faults, a loving father. This is not a Father’s Day tribute but a tribute to a significant event in his life.

The above picture was taken on May 26, 2014. That pole provided a brief rest holding my daddy, who could barely walk by this time. Intense pain coursed through his feet, and a shuffle had become his normal pace, labored breathing his daily struggle. His spirit was so gentle, and his smile precious; he wanted to be all he could be for my mother and his daughters. Less than 6 months from this picture, this is what the obituary stated…

Floyd Wise, 83, went to his new home with the Lord on December 24, 2014.

Floyd was born on May 21, 1931, in Atlanta, GA, the third of eight children. He graduated high school in 1950 and served as an Army supply clerk in the 595th Engineering Company, stationed in Okinawa during the Korean War.

It was later in life that I learned this story…
His unit was on the ship and was called off the ship. Everyone except dad. Those men were sent to Korea. Dad went on to Okinawa. Dad later learned all the men sent to Korea were killed in Korea.img_9852

My dad, the only one kept on the ship.

At this point in his life, dad did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Returning to Atlanta after his discharge, dad worked for the Southern Freight Association, where he met my mother, Audrey. He began attending Youth for Christ revival meetings with her. It was at a church revival meeting that dad waited until everyone left the church and went to talk to the pastor and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

I believe God saved my dad from physically being killed on that fateful day. HE saved him so he could be saved.

This weekend on Facebook memories the picture came up of my dad. This was the caption: May 26,2014 – My sweet dad went to the VA hospital last week for a yearly checkup. For his Cognitive test, he was asked to write a sentence. My sister said he had to think a minute but then wrote, “Everybody needs Jesus.” Even though dementia is trying to steal, I am so happy my dad’s faithfulness to the LORD shines bright.

This Memorial Day, I’m thankful for a God who sees every soldier. I’m thankful for the Freedom of Religion we have in this country. I’m thankful my dad chose to serve His country and, most importantly, later chose to serve the Lord. I’m thankful the Lord preserved my dad until he came to faith in Christ Jesus. My dad was faithful to the Lord all his life. This is worthy of remembrance on Memorial Day.

 
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9
©Valerie Rumfelt
 
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The Wave is Back

Southerners know all about waving. We’ve been doing it since babes in strollers. A long-held, winsome and pleasant greeting, but one I find waning. My husband and I went off to Canada and Rhode Island, a 12-year absence. My entry back to southern life gave me fresh eyes to notice the waves were not so frequent when we returned.

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I wasn’t sure what to think. It made me wonder if people were less friendly now. Was the darkness we dealt with almost daily in other places seeping into our quaint state, quieting this joyful greeting? Maybe people were just tired and scenical. We’re we becoming divided as the media seems intent on telling us? Whatever the reason, the wave seemed just about gone!

This week, I’m happy to report, the wave is back. Because of our Covid-19 isolation, the Body of Christ gathered in clusters all over the world to talk to one another through the use of Zoom and likely some other apps. Joy and anticipation were palpable as our Hope Sunday School class met at 5 p.m. on Sunday. You better believe we all were waving to one another. It was so sweet and the meeting was one we are still pondering.

But this is not the only place people are waving:

I saw a video of teachers in their vehicles, parading through neighborhood streets waving to their students who were waiting for them to come by. Talk about sweet!

The IMB(International Mission Board) reported small groups waving to one another through screens as they met together through the magic of technology. They spoke of how each felt like family and this helped them overcome the negatives of quarantine.

2 teachers in Texas called the parents of their students ahead of time. They made a poster that said, “Hi!! I miss you so so much! Can’t wait to see you! (online),” The parents made sure their children were in the yard when the teachers drove by waving with the poster displayed.

On a newscast, I saw a sign that said, “Wave. Don’t Shake.”

Many family members can’t visit their loved ones in long term care facilities right now. Ever determined, some station themselves outside and talk to their loved one on phones through the window, waving to one another.

There’s something about waving that sends a friendly and hopeful message. It’s a child-like and disarming form of communication. My hope is the wave resurgence is part of our new normal.

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Until then, remain in isolation. If you’re a believer in Christ Jesus, isolate joyfully. Love the ones you’re with. And let God’s Word come alive in your life. Remember those simple commands scattered in the New Testament? They offer practical help every day, but certainly are useful now. Here are just a few:

Do everything without grumbling or complaining.

Put one another before yourself.

Get rid of malice and filthy language on your lips.

Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Keep your eyes from seeing anything worthless.

The Fruit of the Spirit

In addition, do simple tasks:

Write scripture

Exercise

Cook a healthy recipe or make a healthy snack

Write a letter

Send a card

Deep clean

Throw away things

There’s so much to do. As my husband often says during this time, “Embrace the peace.”

Until life gets back to the workday schedule again, and as we adjust to a new normal, I say, “Embrace the wave.”

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

©️Valerie Rumfelt

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Free Prayer Guide

photo-1545314329-10ce691845baThese are interesting days. God certainly has all our attention. Let’s not waste this unique season in our country worrying. God is calling on the CHURCH to pray and minister in His Name.

This morning all of us at Buried Treasures Home will watch our pastor livestream as will many of you. We plan to gather and sing before the we tune in to the message. Last night, I tapped out this prayer guide which we will use to pray for this season in our country.March 152020 Ntl Day of Prayer – Corona Virus

It may not include everything, but the Spirit will inform you as you pray to the Father about these matters. I wish I could have included scriptures, but this is just a guide. If you can use it then God will get the glory.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27

 

March 152020 Ntl Day of Prayer – Corona Virus

©️Valerie Rumfelt

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Scripture Writing Follow Up

downloadSome of you may be following the Scripture Writing from The Planning Women as we do here at Buried Treasures Home. Sometimes, while I’m doing the scripture writing, the Spirit fills my mind with questions about the passage. After I understand the answers, I then have another discipleship tool to pass on to the ladies. This week was one of those times, and I was able to get it typed up and passed on to them. Even if you don’t do this particular scripture writing or scripture writing at all, you can still print off this printable to use for some extra Bible study time. Enjoy. Scripture Writing follow up for March 3

©️Valerie Rumfelt

 

5 Reasons to Write a Handwritten Letter

There’s nothing like getting a personal letter in the mail. Short of wedding invitations and graduation announcements, letters can be few and far between these days. I’m thankful that during my lifetime, I knew about sending, as well as, receiving letters in the mailbox. There’s something special about an envelope with your name inscribed on it, and guessing who it is from. Soon the letter will be opened, and for a few minutes, you slow down and read the contents inside.IMG_7410

But snail mail in recent times has taken a hit. The convenience of technology has usurped the intentionality and slower pace of pen and paper. But many of you, I’m sure, have received somewhat meaningful mail through the United States Postal Service. To some, this blog may sound old-fashioned; bashing technology, however, is not my intent. Technology is amazing and is a creative wonder that yields blessings unmatched by our imaginations. I am taken with its speed, convenience, and creative options. However, sometimes slowing down with pen and paper offers benefits as well.

With that said, here are 5 reasons why one should handwrite a note or letter…

For the recipient:

1. Getting a personal letter in the mail is an unexpected pleasure, a surprise in the day.

2. Anticipating checking the mail and finding an envelope inscribed with your name on it can be exciting.

3. Looking at the return address to guess who it is from is something that is absent from technology and provides some intrigue to the exchange.

4. Wondering about the contents of the letter gets the mind actively involved in getting the letter opened.

5. Reading actual words written by another human on paper is so unusual that it can be a particular blessing.

For the writer:

1. Intention – Something about pen and paper shows thought went into the message being sent.

2. Personality – Your stationery and pens can complement your communication and how your writing is presented.

3. Connection – What better way to reach out to someone in such a personal way!

4. Exclusivity – A letter is private. It’s between you and one other.

5. Dignity – A letter raises human interaction to a higher level of communication.

So what is one to write?

It is surprising how interesting ordinary life can be to a reader. Share a memory, or write about your garden, pets, a needed home repair, or a Bible study give a sense of connection in a letter. Share a recent day trip,  a craft you’re working on, or a place you’d like to visit. Continue about the weather, your children or grands would provide some rich content. This brings the reader into your world.

We have an aunt that types an occasional letter to us. Generally, she discusses her recent aches and pains, her retirement friends that she meets each month, some family news, and possibly, she may mention a church service recently watched. That sounds mundane, but we enjoy it very much and appreciate it.

Recently, someone we know moved to another state, and it was a delight getting a real letter from her.  Her name was embossed across the top of each page of the stationery. She included news about a particular object she was hanging in her home. She discussed some needed changes in her backyard and a visit to a new grocery store in town. Every word absorbed.

For those who think you are too busy to sit down and write a letter, I totally understand. For me, it’s about carving a few minutes out of a month to write someone you care about who may not be on social media.

There’s something special about going to the mailbox and finding a  personal letter with your name on it. It is an expression of individual thought and care, and it’s likely to make your day when received. I suspect keeping letters is happening more now than ever due to the rare nature of the practice. It’s easy to make someone’s day in a distinctly personal way. Write a letter. Take a few moments and scribble out a few thoughts to one who’s on your mind. Order some stamps online or, better yet, visit your local post office to get a few stamps. Letter writing has always been one of the finer things in life, and someone needs to hear from you today.

“Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”
Lord Byron

©️Valerie Rumfelt

A Verse and a Word

untitled2020 seems like it could be a year of order and perfection. The numerical pattern of the even numbers just looks clean, perfect, orderly.  The idea of 20/20 vision springs to mind perfect vision. Because we live in this world, we know it will not be a year of order or perfection for planet earth. Thankfully, we who love our Lord know for sure HE is the God of order and perfection. He has the plan not just for our world, but for each follower of Jesus.

For 2020,  it seemed right for me to get a verse and a word to give focus to the coming year and hope for the days to come. After pondering this, I was led to Psalm 121:2, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” And Enthusiasm is the word for my year. The definition of enthusiasm mentions intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval. The words apathy, coolness, doubt, weariness is the opposite, which I admit at times is my default.

With my verse and word chosen, I understood that whatever is coming this year, the Lord will be my Helper. Additionally, I’m to approach all things to do with His plan with ENTHUSIASM.

I’ve challenged the ladies of Buried Treasures Home to get a verse and a word for the year. Several were enthusiastic about the idea, and some will do it because I asked them to do it. How about you? Are you ready to approach the year 2020 with a verse and a word? 11 days in, I can testify the verse and word come up in my mind often. I’m focused. Leave me a comment here or in the comments on Facebook. What’s your verse and word for 2020?

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? Psalm 121:1

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©by Valerie Rumfelt

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Why the Angels Sing

0e3fe-hark-the-heraldChristmas music abounds with scads of beautiful and touching carols, but none has captured my heart more than “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I checked a few lists and this triumphant, happy song makes the top 20 Christmas songs. The theology in the hymn is crystal clear, and my heart rejoices to hear and sing it. The imagery of angels singing is not hard to visualize. The story told within the verses is joyful and masterful.

You may pick out some other Christian themes in it, but these are the ones obvious to me.

  • God sent Jesus into this world to save us.
  • All the nations rejoiced at His coming.
  • The angels proclaimed His birth.
  • Jesus is the highest and all supreme God, born of a virgin.
  • He deserves our devotion and allegiance.
  • The Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present at His conception and birth.
  • HE IS WITH US.
  • He is the epitome of hope because He brings life to all who accept Him.
  • For those who accept Him, death is just a passage to the best life.
  • He is PEACE, He is RIGHTEOUS, He is LIGHT and LIFE.
  • He put His glory aside to come to earth as a humble babe.
  • Those who know Him, one day will rise to reign with Him. And lastly…
  • All glory, any amount, should be directed, and freely given to Him.

HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

Christ,the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb
Hail the Flesh, the God Head
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His Glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLCHark-the-Herald-Angels-Sing

This carol thrills my soul. Hearing the introductory notes, my heart and spirit get simultaneously glad and the words bring tears to my eyes . True worship to our King Jesus is contained in this song. It’s easy to see, why the angels sing!

Listen here…

Glory to the New Born King!

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’.” Luke 2:13-14

 

©️Valerie Rumfelt

Christmas for the Soul

untitledIt’s almost Christmas. Some of you have a decorated home already. As you stay faithful to our Savior during this season, it’s important to remember, Jesus has shown us how to respond to the hard things.

This morning, my scripture writing was out of I Peter 2:21-25.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

This passage is inspiring. In the verses before it, the subject matter is about submission to authorities and suffering for doing good. Verse 21 starts, “To this, you were called.” We are called to submit to authorities and to know as followers of Jesus; we will suffer for doing good. When we do suffer, we are to endure it. The only thing I’d add to this is to be sure your suffering is not something you caused. Jesus is not talking about self-inflicted suffering; those preventable things.

The passage also says Christ suffered for you and left all believers an example in Himself and to follow in His steps. Based on verses 22 and 23, Jesus shows an example for us when He appeared before His accusers.

Jesus endured insults.

Jesus did not retaliate.

Jesus did not make any threats.

For us to respond as Jesus did requires us to walk in the Spirit. Responses like His are not natural. Typically, whenever we feel insulted, the opposite usually comes forth. Even if we manage to keep guard over our mouths, the darkness is in our hearts. The challenge from scripture does not take into account our sinful nature. The scripture gives us Jesus as our example, and He tells us we can respond like Him. The example is given and is the one to follow. We will face suffering for doing perfectly good things in Jesus’ Name, and we are to suffer well. We have His power inside us to respond well. Leaving the results to Him is a matter of trust. Jesus trusted His entire life to His Father.

He went to die on the cruel cross so that “we might die to sins and live for righteousness.” A wonderful thought follows, stating we are healed by His wounds. Jesus suffered on our behalf, in our place. And because HE did, we are healed. When we accept forgiveness from Jesus, we move from the disease of sin to being made well and whole. We identify with Christ. The cure has come.

In conclusion, verse 25 of this powerful passage says we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls! Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul? Acknowledged is the final hope of turning back to Him in the two protective, loving names, Shepherd and Overseer.

This Christmas season, let’s find hope in this passage from scripture. It tells the entire reason Jesus came and then ends almost like a benediction to comfort us as we return to Him, and endure until He comes again.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6

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Dear Overseer and Shepherd of our souls, help us to suffer well. Let us bring glory to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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The Carrot Option

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It may not be your go to food, but if you’re on a meal plan or always looking for recipes to point you to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, carrots are an option. Carrots are underrated, but maybe we’ve all had the canned version, which is soft and pale.

A real carrot has a number of nutritional benefits. They are a colorful, tasty side dish, a healthy option at your Thanksgiving celebration, or your daily meal plan.

Crockpot Carrots

Step 1 – Purchase a 5 pound bag of carrots. Pass on the baby carrots and get the long carrots.

Step 2 – Place the carrots in a large bowl of water. Drain in a few minutes and rinse.

Step 3 – Cut down the carrot’s length and chop the long carrots in whatever size you like.

Step 4 – Turn crockpot on High. Add 5-6 Tablespoons of water. Add carrots. The carrots will fill the pot.

Step 5 – Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir. This step could be done in a large bowl and then transferred over to the crockpot.

Step 6 – Put lid on and cook 4 hours.

The carrots are still firm, still bright orange, and nutritious. You could cook a bit longer if you want them tender all the way through. Cooked according to instruction ensures firmness, which causes you to chew slower, and this is excellent for digestion and enjoyment of your food.

One other tip: This recipe is easy because I don’t peel the carrots. Keep your nutrients.

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Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Genesis 9:3

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Truth in a List

12240313_434190853458724_1848317120572943722_oA few years ago, I was teaching children who had no idea who Jesus is. I was desperate to help them understand my love for Him and His word. I wanted to pass on some core ideas because I didn’t know how long I’d be with them. An urgency to share what I knew led to this list.  I thank the Lord, through His precious Holy Spirit for giving these Truth Sentences to me. These are core truths for all Christians. My hope is these help as you teach young children, whether yours or someone else’s. Teach the truth.
I see these being used in children’s Sunday School classes, Mission classes such as Awana or Royal Ambassadors, Acteens, Girls in Action. Perhaps a child can earn a certificate for memorizing the list and verse.

I know at Buried Treasures Home where I serve, the ladies receive a valued certificate for the memorization of these Truth Sentences.

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Here’s other ways for you to use them:
*Repeat them in the car while you run errands with your children or grandchildren.
*Work on one each night before bedtime with older children.
*With young preschoolers, go over the concepts while they take their bath or at the breakfast table
*Use these as a project with a couple of friends. Start memorizing the concept and verse and meet once a month to check your progress with each other.

You will be amazed how these truths change your world view. You will begin to see these concepts play out in your life. Once you have them, you can share the reason for the Hope in you. Your confidence about who God is will flourish.
Let me know in the comments or send me a message telling me how you plan to use these Truth Sentences.

A Free Printable of these sentences is here: Truth Sentences 1119

 

Truth Sentences

Jesus is God. John 1:1

All the Bible is true. John 17:17

Jesus never sinned. Hebrews 4:15

The Bible is God’s Word. Psalm 119:11

All Scripture is God-breathed. 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17

Jesus is God’s Son. John 3:16

Jesus never changes. Hebrews 13:8

The Word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12

Truth Sentences Printable

©Valerie Rumfelt

It would be my joy to have you as a reader. Put your email in the box below, and press subscribe to receive my post each time I publish.

My Best Friendship Tips

It is said one does not need many friends, just a few good ones. As I look back on my life, I can see it is true. The faithful few are the ones who matter. As I’m pondering the benefit of friendship, it is good to know the Lord Himself calls those who are in personal relationship with Him, His friends. Wow. I am a friend of God. How can this be? And I can’t let it go unsaid that Jesus is the best friend of all. But it is through His person and character we find qualities for earthly friends. We have all we need in Him, but He gives us people to love because He knows we need community.

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Christian women should have friends who love the Lord. Those who will pray alongside you and cheer you on when times are tough. Those who text back immediately even when long-distance separates and who call when they set a time to chat. These are quality friends.

My husband and I left some precious friends in Rhode Island when we moved to Mississippi. But this past weekend, one flew here for a visit. She was with us a couple of days, and then she, myself, and my husband drove to Louisiana to see a mutual friend get married. A weekend entirely about friendship. These times are to be cherished.

So what do you think matters when it comes to friendship? Here’s my list…

  • Loyalty or Faithfulness – This woman will stand by you, doesn’t breathe a word of your confidence, and prays. Years later, she is still adding value to your life.
  • Spiritually Compatible – This woman pursues God. She cares about what God cares about. She listens when godly advice is given.
  • Appreciation – This woman sees your kingdom contribution and appreciates your service to Him and all your other roles in life. There is no jealousy, only support.
  • Presence – This woman is a  good friend. She doesn’t create drama. She doesn’t ask what she can do when you are in trouble; she knows what to do. She is there, but she isn’t in the way.
  • Respect – This woman stands on her own 2 feet, but if she needs help, she accepts it gladly as a blessing. She knows the boundary lines and a healthy relationship is an ongoing goal.

I think this is a good list. These qualities grow as the relationship grows and prove themselves over time. If you have friends in your inner circle who put you down, criticize you, and don’t care about the things you care about, it’s time to make some new friends. Ask God to put you in situations, so you’re in contact with healthy women and see if He won’t allow a friend to emerge.photo-1568680466895-34b9504c8b10

Life is too hard, and God is too good not to have a few sweet and loving women in your life. Again, quality is better than quantity. And remember to keep the Lord first, and He will direct your path toward those women who are good and healthy for your life.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” C. S. Lewis

 

©Valerie Rumfelt

It would be my joy to have you as a reader. Put your email in the box below, and press subscribe to receive my post each time I publish.